In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, April 5, 2013

You Can't Go Home Again.

Okay, so here we go. My thoughts on Evil Dead 2013...

Having seen this movie twice in the weeks leading up to its release, I’ve had ample time to digest Fede Alvarez’s redo of Evil Dead. Before I get into it though; a small preface. Regardless of all the things I am about to say, I did actually have a fun time watching this movie...

Evil Dead 2013 is a heavily flawed piece of work. My main problem was just how slick and manufactured it looked, which constantly reminded me – much to my chagrin – of the Platinum Dunes canon. Even though the pretense of why the characters are at the cabin was rather clever, the first act was extremely clunky. To be honest, the whole sequence before the title card could’ve been omitted and no one would have missed it. And even when the movie was running at full clip, it still lacked the raw energy of its predecessors.

There were many other small decisions that perplexed me, as well. Rather than an unseen force, Alvarez chooses to take the J-horror route with his demons, which makes the movie rife with now tired clichés. Even the actual Deadite designs – not the execution mind you, as that is solid – seem out of place, like they would've been more at home in an Exorcist sequel than an Evil Dead remake.

There is also the fact that this incarnation of Evil Dead isn’t scary. Claims of “this is the most terrifying film you will ever experience” look good on posters, but you have to, you know, actually back it up. Sam Raimi’s 2009 flick Drag Me To Hell had way more tension and frights, and that was 95% camp.

However, this movie does deliver in the gore department. There are a pile of set pieces – for which a good chunk are in the trailer sadly – which likely add up to the bloodiest film that has ever had a wide release. Most importantly, the reports that most of the effects were done practically are most definitely true. So, gorehounds rejoice!

My, my Jess. You do Dead up nice.

All the building blocks were in place to make this a rousing success, so I’m not sure what happened here. I have to chalk it up to the oft-used phrase at the top of this post. The world has moved on, and horror films are just aren’t made with the same sensibilities. Films like The Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw and Last House on the Left were made by wiry mavericks who likely only followed through because there was no one there to tell them they couldn’t do it. Hollywood films are made by committee these days, not singular vision. This is not an environment conducive to fostering the take-no-prisoners attitude of the seventies.

And yet, I did have fun. For some reason, my reaction to this remake not being as awesome as SXSW had me believe was not one of anger. If you can believe it, depsite all its faults, I’d say that Evil Dead is still one of the better remakes out there. For what its worth...

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